I live my life trying to follow through with every promise I have made to people that take up a good chunk of real estate in my world. But, of course, every pact I have made with my best friends in all my twenty years of friendships have usually included a "we will be best friends forever and be in each other's weddings." Obviously eight-year-old Karen did not realize that the next 10-15 years would be the most dramatic, character shaping, and ambiguous years of her life. Every vow I took with boyfriends, either with romantic intentions or simply dating for companionship, had a component of longevity. A spoken shared hope that we would be in each other's lives, like time stood still as we made our pinky promises.

My pinky promises do not have an expiration date. Of course I am speaking metaphorically, relating the hopes and dreams of reciprocated oaths to a symbolic hook of two pinky fingers. I have sworn to many "forever togethers," but it was not until later that I realized it did not mean that I would be with the person physically and in the same situational state. Days turn into weeks, turn into years, but I am still there in the way I intended to. I might be a phone call away instead of a five minute walk, or a facetime call that replaces the absence of late night soul food/soul talk runs. I had to make peace with the fact that I could not fulfill my genie-in-a-bottle wish of freezing time and realize that just like literally everything in life, relationships evolve. People grow in different directions, bloom amongst people you have nothing in common with, and explore unfamiliar territories.

I am sure it sounds like I am the epitome of a "people pleaser," however, I would like to think that I am quite the opposite. I am not lamenting the fact that I cannot make everyone happy or scared that my broken promises will be the end of my purpose. I am discovering the way I can selfishly preserve my demand for intimate human relationships and hold on to the people I deem worthy to keep my world spinning and in balance.

I do not want to live my life unattached to best friends, or unable or unwilling to give my VIPs real estate in my life, but I have come to realize that I can keep my promise, just in a different way. I have people in my life that could be my bridesmaids and my forever togethers, we have shared dreams of togethers and exchanged words of forevers, but for now, I think I will stick to making pinky promises.